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Light vs No Light


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Are there any pros to running without a light? I've seen a lot of higher-level shooters, even those shooting Glocks, running them without lights. Is it because the light might interfere with their support hand finger on the trigger guard grip? That would be my guess.

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The light is an extra piece of equipment that can fail. In CO Division it has to be functional. I’m trying to make this decision now. In my one range session with a light, it feels like it gets in the way. After a bit more practice I’ll see what the timer tells me. 

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Some of the same pros you talk about still run frame weights on their light polymer guns depending on division.  Another thing to note is the have been shooting without a light on the front for years so maybe they don't want to mess with what they already know.

The light certainly adds mass to the front of the gun, wether you gain enough of an advantage is another thing.

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On 6/26/2022 at 3:27 AM, thh425 said:

Are there any pros to running without a light? I've seen a lot of higher-level shooters, even those shooting Glocks, running them without lights. Is it because the light might interfere with their support hand finger on the trigger guard grip? That would be my guess.

This is a competition so what you need to do is evaluate why you might need to add a light. Measure the pros and cons, practice with and without, consider what will fail and then decide if you need one. 
 

Personally I have not seen anyone who shoots with a light have any noticeable advantage over those who are sans one.  I also believe it adds one more failure point to consider. Remember the KISS system is still the best. 

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I didn't really care for this balance with the light. I couldn't get enough weight in the grip or light enough recoil spring to offset the mass so I was throwing second shots low. Not really worth it in my opinion.

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Ok, so I have a tricked out 34 for CO and for the heck of it I added a light and discovered I’m shooting much better with the muzzle not moving as much. It’s probably because I didn’t have a great grip to begin with, but it has helped my shooting. 

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Also in Prod and CO I really don't like the release feel from any legal holster for a light bearing pistol.

 

Splits gain you hundreds of a second. Transitions gain you tenths. Movement can gain you a full second. 

Running a light doesn't do enough for me over the course of an entire match's actions.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My local clubs idpa match always does one stage in the dark. So I run a light on my idpa gun. It slows down my draw slightly because the light is longer than my gun. I don’t notice if it helps with recoil. 

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  • 1 month later...

The idea is it helps with muzzle rise. I experimented with a light and some weighted battery inserts and found it's not much of a game changer. It's a relatively cheap modification and I don't find the light gets in the way, but as far as helping your game getting a better handgun, modifying your trigger, loading your own ammo and tuning your gun for that ammo are all options that will get you better results than just throwing some weight on the front of your gun.

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If you're shooting a polymer framed pistol you can feel the difference in weight distribution when there is a light on the gun vs. no light on the gun. That said, I do most of my shooting with, and carry a gun with a light on it. I like the way it feels with a light on it probably because I'm just used to it, so once they started to allow them, I put a light on the gun/s I shoot for competition. Any benefit I've found has nothing to do with recoil recovery. Its not much of an issue for me. Where I have found some benefit is on transitions. Before lights in USPSA I would occasionally overswing on transitions, at least during the first couple stages, because of the weight difference between my work gun with light, and my match gun without. Now the weights between the two are closer and I find I don't have that problem any longer. So, I'm pro light. There certainly are other things you can spend money one and get more bang for your buck, but if you happen to have a light hanging around it can't hurt to throw it on and and run some drills to see if there is any difference.

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They really should just make a weight rule only and allow frame weights in co and prod  and be done with all this "functional light" stuff    If gun fits in the box and makes weight, good to go  EZPZ

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On 7/6/2022 at 2:09 PM, rowdyb said:

Also in Prod and CO I really don't like the release feel from any legal holster for a light bearing pistol.

 

Splits gain you hundreds of a second. Transitions gain you tenths. Movement can gain you a full second. 

Running a light doesn't do enough for me over the course of an entire match's actions.

 

Yeah it definitely is different feel. I do not like it personally either. (for competition at least)

 

That being said, its all about balance. Its up to you OP to decide what works best for you.

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For me with out the light the gun does transition faster and when I shoot from appendix the first shot is typically faster based off the timer. I have messed with x300 normal batteries (3oz) x300 tungsten battery’s(9oz) and no light I like no light better to be honesty 

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For the guys who transition better with out the light. How are you testing it? Is it just big swings or everything? What kind of numbers are we talking. Do you have to dry fire between reps to recalibrate for the different weight and keep from over swinging the gun etc? 

 

Lots of questions, I know. But it seems like it'd be a hard thing to nail down. 

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On 8/22/2022 at 8:55 AM, Racinready300ex said:

For the guys who transition better with out the light. How are you testing it? Is it just big swings or everything? What kind of numbers are we talking. Do you have to dry fire between reps to recalibrate for the different weight and keep from over swinging the gun etc? 

 

Lots of questions, I know. But it seems like it'd be a hard thing to nail down. 

 

The clock is one way.

 

Also easy to see if the gun is too heavy and you overshoot on transitions and have to come back. Its also preference and yes dry fire can overcome some things.

 

Also easy to see how the gun returns to battery even after spring testing. Usually if you add weight out front, I have had to add weight in the rear/grip to compensate for balance.

 

Like I said before, I do not like the draw plus its just more to worry about/go wrong.

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14 hours ago, mrvip27 said:

 

The clock is one way.

 

Also easy to see if the gun is too heavy and you overshoot on transitions and have to come back. Its also preference and yes dry fire can overcome some things.

 

Also easy to see how the gun returns to battery even after spring testing. Usually if you add weight out front, I have had to add weight in the rear/grip to compensate for balance.

 

Like I said before, I do not like the draw plus its just more to worry about/go wrong.

 

I totally get it can be a preference, and one can just like how one setup feels over another. There really is no need for a light in USPSA. I can see IDPA shooters wanting a WML for low light stages. In that case you'll just have to learn to live with it. 

 

But things like over swinging can come from any change it weight if you don't give yourself time to adjust to it. Lots of limited and open guys swing around guns that weight 50+ oz empty and they seem to do okay. It seems like it would be really hard to nail down how much time you're loosing in transitions from adding 2-3 oz to the front of the gun. 

 

I see a lot of posts about weight on the front making the gun dip. That can just as easily be the shooter pushing the gun down. Especially if you go crazy and add a 8 oz weight to the front of a gun you're used to shooting with out it. If you return the gun the same way you always do you'll likely push shots low. 

 

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5 hours ago, Racinready300ex said:

 

I totally get it can be a preference, and one can just like how one setup feels over another. There really is no need for a light in USPSA. I can see IDPA shooters wanting a WML for low light stages. In that case you'll just have to learn to live with it. 

 

But things like over swinging can come from any change it weight if you don't give yourself time to adjust to it. Lots of limited and open guys swing around guns that weight 50+ oz empty and they seem to do okay. It seems like it would be really hard to nail down how much time you're loosing in transitions from adding 2-3 oz to the front of the gun. 

 

I see a lot of posts about weight on the front making the gun dip. That can just as easily be the shooter pushing the gun down. Especially if you go crazy and add a 8 oz weight to the front of a gun you're used to shooting with out it. If you return the gun the same way you always do you'll likely push shots low. 

 

 

Basically. I have my gun setup how I want and it works for me. I don't want to go changing what has been working.

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43 minutes ago, mrvip27 said:

 

Basically. I have my gun setup how I want and it works for me. I don't want to go changing what has been working.

 

And I'm not advocating you change your setup. I was just asking a open question about testing. 

 

What's the saying...if it ain't broke

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  • 4 weeks later...

As you obviously are aware, if you compete in carry optics division with your concealed carry or duty pistol, you can run a light on it.  Which more than likely would have a light on it nowadays, they have become very popular, as they have been found very useful and effective for concealed carry and duty.  It seemed to me the rule change to allow lights was to afford people who run their guns set up with a light and a red dot the ability to practice and compete with their potentially life saving equipment without having to change their set up.  If you don't currently run a light on your carry pistol, I would strongly recommend looking into it.  While doing so, I would look at current data that is being put out by professionals or professional organizations, and shy away from any dated data from sources that don't hold those qualifications.   

 

As for potential advantage in a competition setting as relates to recoil impulse or transition speed, I doubt it would be enough to make any measurable difference that would determine a win or a loss for the day for the vast majority of us.  I hope that you find this helpful or at least interesting food for thought.

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On 7/6/2022 at 4:09 PM, rowdyb said:

Also in Prod and CO I really don't like the release feel from any legal holster for a light bearing pistol.

 

Splits gain you hundreds of a second. Transitions gain you tenths. Movement can gain you a full second. 

Running a light doesn't do enough for me over the course of an entire match's actions.

Pretty insightful,,, I like that.

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6 hours ago, HueyChief33 said:

As you obviously are aware, if you compete in carry optics division with your concealed carry or duty pistol, you can run a light on it.  Which more than likely would have a light on it nowadays, they have become very popular, as they have been found very useful and effective for concealed carry and duty.  It seemed to me the rule change to allow lights was to afford people who run their guns set up with a light and a red dot the ability to practice and compete with their potentially life saving equipment without having to change their set up.  If you don't currently run a light on your carry pistol, I would strongly recommend looking into it.  While doing so, I would look at current data that is being put out by professionals or professional organizations, and shy away from any dated data from sources that don't hold those qualifications.   

 

As for potential advantage in a competition setting as relates to recoil impulse or transition speed, I doubt it would be enough to make any measurable difference that would determine a win or a loss for the day for the vast majority of us.  I hope that you find this helpful or at least interesting food for thought.

 

I'm sure that was the intent, but for the most part no one runs duty/carry gear in this game. Note, I'm not saying no one ever has or will run duty gear. I'm saying it's not a meaningful number of people. And really, it's not like you couldn't run it before you just couldn't run it in the division you wanted too. You could shoot open, or take the battery out and shoot limited/L10. 

 

I've considered adding a WML to my carry gun. But then I ask myself when was the last time I needed a flashlight in my daily activity. If I never use a flashlight, what are the odds I need my flashlight and my gun at the same time? And I'm not saying don't carry a light. Everyone reads everything to the extreme. Carry what ever suits your lifestyle. 

 

If I shoot a low light match in IDPA I'll defiantly be running a WML now that the rules allow them. In USPSA we don't do those, so the light would only be there for weight which I don't need. 

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